With expansive state parks and a national wildlife refuge plus several attractive county and city facilities, Jupiter offers many excellent places to kayak, hike, bike and learn about native wildlife. Within a two hour drive of 6 million people in South Florida, it’s a good getaway for lovers of the outdoors .
The Calusa Blueway is a 190-mile long paddling trail through the Gulf Coast waters around Fort Myers. It’s not designed to be through-paddled, but it IS designed to be Florida’s best kayak trail. You can get free maps of the various paddling trails sent to you.
There’s a good reason Boca Grande is a favorite among the rich and famous: It’s beautiful, unspoiled and preserves the charm of Old Florida. The good news: It makes a satisfying daytrip, especially on a bike.
The historic agricultural area surrounding the Homestead entrance to Everglades National Park offers so many cool experiences — a park where you can see and sample exotic fruits, a historic village of shops and restaurants, a local tropical-fruit winery and famous fruit milkshakes and cinnamon rolls.
If you haven’t experienced Florida’s most famous spring, you’re missing one of the most beautiful spots in Florida. This weekend, Ocali Country Days, a special living-history festival, will re-create the Ocala of the 1800s. Year-round, this park has it all: kayaking, hiking, glass-bottom boat rides, horseback riding and terrific cabins.
Natural beauty makes Riverbend Park a delightful place to explore. Its 10 miles of bike trails are particularly suited to family bicycle outings. It’s also the site of a historic battleground and is where you launch for kayaking the Loxahatchee River.
Within an hour’s drive of the urban tangle of South Florida, one of Florida’s two nationally designated “wild and scenic” rivers meanders through a spectacularly lovely cypress swamp. Kayak trips range from an hour or two to a strenuous all-day adventure.
It’s easy to find a beach in Florida. It’s harder to find a hidden beach, a beach where you experience a sense of discovery and delicious isolation. Here, however, I share my favorites, discovered over many years.
This paved bike trail system has it all — spectacular scenery, a smooth paved surface with few road crossings and great amenities and stops along the way. And it keeps getting better. The final northern segment to downtown Sarasota just opened.